Breadcrumbs can be made at home or purchased at the store and vary in consistency and uses. Often, breadcrumbs are used for breading, stuffing, and toppings.
If you have a box of store-bought breadcrumbs from a previous holiday dinner, you may wonder if they will still be good to use. Or, if you made homemade breadcrumbs a few days ago, you might wonder how long they will be good to keep.
Bottom Line: It is pretty obvious that your breadcrumbs will go bad. The question is, how long will it take?
Read ahead to know how long you can expect your breadcrumbs can last and how you can properly store them to extend their shelf life.
Homemade Versus Store-Bought Breadcrumbs
Homemade breadcrumbs are hard to beat. Delicious, easy to make, and harkening back to your grandma’s old recipes. But, store-bought varieties do offer an assortment of different flavors and uses.
Unless you have a dehydrator, store-bought breadcrumbs are useful because they will have a far longer shelf life. Fresh breadcrumbs made at home will not last very long, so you will only want to make as much as you need to use in a few days.
Shelf Life Of Breadcrumbs
Store-bought breadcrumbs will come with a “best by” date on the packaging. This is a good recommendation for when the breadcrumbs will start to go bad or lose quality, though they can probably be used for a few weeks after the labeled date.
Even though breadcrumbs are made from bread, they will last far longer than a loaf of bread will. However, they will not keep their flavor and quality forever.
You can expect a package of store-bought breadcrumbs to last for a few months as long as it is stored properly. Past their “best by” date, they may begin to go stale and lose some of their flavor.
There are a number of homemade recipes for breadcrumbs. Most homemade varieties of breadcrumbs will only be good for up to two weeks, but this can vary widely depending on the recipe you use and how dehydrated the breadcrumbs are. You will want to ensure there are no signs of spoilage prior to use.
Proper Storage Of Breadcrumbs
Storing breadcrumbs is very similar to storing flour or other dried baking ingredients. To ensure long shelf life, you will want to practice good storage techniques.
Breadcrumbs should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry, and dark place. A pantry is ideal, as it will meet all of these conditions.
Breadcrumbs should be kept away from any sources of moisture or heat, as this will develop condensation and cause the breadcrumbs to go bad sooner.
Keep in mind, the cabinets next to and above stoves and ovens will get warm and can develop condensation. Breadcrumbs should not be kept in these locations, as exposure to moisture will cause them to spoil rapidly.
Once the container of breadcrumbs has been opened, it should be tightly sealed after each use. If its original packaging is not re-sealable, you may want to transfer it to a sealable plastic bag or an airtight container. This will protect it from sources of moisture or pests.
If stored in a plastic bag, any excess air should be squeezed out before sealing.
Exposure to air will make breadcrumbs go stale, so it is vital to ensure the container it is in is airtight.
To prolong the life of your breadcrumbs, they can be frozen. Before doing so, ensure it is in an airtight container or bag to prevent freezer burn. Freezing them may change some of the texture and consistency, so this is a last resort if your breadcrumbs are about to go bad.
Are These Breadcrumbs Good?
So, what if you have a package of breadcrumbs that have been in your pantry for months, and the “best by” day has passed? Should they be thrown out? Not necessarily, though you will want to check carefully for any signs of spoilage.
As you would with a loaf of bread, you will first want to ensure there are no visible signs of spoilage, such as mold. This can occur when moisture gets into the container. If there is any mold, the entire container should be thrown out.
If the appearance of the breadcrumbs is normal, smell the container to see if there is anything off about the smell. Breadcrumbs typically have a mild smell, so if the scent has changed much, the breadcrumbs have probably gone bad.
If the smell and appearance are fine, you can take a small taste. If they have soured, you will want to throw them out.
Typically, a few weeks past their “best by” date, the quality of the breadcrumbs may have degraded, and they may start to become stale. This can mean a dry, hard texture and a lack of flavor. If this is the case, they may not be as palatable but are probably safe to consume.
- Store-bought breadcrumbs will typically last for a few months. Homemade breadcrumbs will only last for a week or 2.
- Breadcrumbs should be stored in a cool, dark location and be tightly sealed in an airtight container.
- Breadcrumbs can be frozen if you want to extend their shelf life, though the quality and consistency may change.
- Check for any signs of spoilage before using breadcrumbs, such as a change in smell, appearance, or taste.
Useful in many dishes as a breading or texture addition, breadcrumbs make a useful addition to your kitchen. Check for any signs of spoilage to ensure you are getting the most quality out of your breadcrumbs.